Construction worker gets jail and caning for slashing ex-girlfriend

Unhappy that his former girlfriend was ignoring his phone calls, a 41-year-old man attacked her with a penknife. He slashed her wrist, throat and face, leaving her permanently disfigured.

Yesterday, construction worker Palaiyan Murugadass was sentenced to four years' jail and nine strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to a charge of causing grie- vous hurt by dangerous means.

A district court heard that Palai- yan, an Indian national, had been in a relationship with the 38-year-old Filipino maid since 2013.

She initiated a break-up with him in July last year. But Palaiyan was unwilling to end their relationship and he began to call her up to 30 times a day. She ignored his calls.

At about 4pm on Aug 23 last year, Palaiyan armed himself with a penknife with a 7cm blade and waited for his former girlfriend at the void deck of an HDB block in Tampines Street 33.

At about 6.30pm, as she was walking along the foot of the block, he went up to her and told her repeatedly: "You playing me, you playing me. You will see, I will kill you."

She ignored him and continued walking. He slashed her throat, prompting her to push the penknife away, thus injuring her hand.

Palaiyan then slashed her cheek.

As the bleeding Filipina shouted for help, a passer-by called the police. Palaiyan fled, throwing the penknife into nearby bushes. He took a taxi back to his dormitory.

The victim was taken to hospital, where her windpipe was operated on. Cuts on her hand and wrist were also stitched up.

She was given hospitalisation leave of more than a month.

A medical report in December stated that her injuries will result in permanent disfigurement.

Palaiyan could have been jailed for life, or up to 15 years with a fine and caning.

Amir Hussain

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 12, 2016, with the headline 'Construction worker gets jail and caning for slashing ex-girlfriend'. Print Edition | Subscribe